Southern Maryland Best Buys


Finding new homes for the china. Be Greek and pitch it at the wall.

It costs to move your treasures. This is a great group of ideas on how to part with your china.i routinely host a Frea Flea usually once or twice a year. I invite friends and family through to pick out items they like in my closets that I no longer use. No packing, hauling or lifting.

China, as in dishes.  So many people are saving their china "for good".  I know I am and that, frankly, my day to day dishes are pretty wonderful and Ihave not used the china for several years.  It won't go in the dishwasher.  It is too 'delicate'.  While the pattern is very simple and elegant it is too formal for my style of entertaining.  I cannot imagine wanting to use it on a regular basis and yet, I pay to have it professionally packed and insured with every move.  I don't think I will do that again but what can I do with the china.  I know no one wanted to use my mother's Spode Indian Tree China (see photo).  It is probably in a box in someone's basement.  

I did a little research to find out what options are available to find a good new home for china.  

  1. Seek out an antique dealer.  If you have done some research on line, you may find out that the pattern is discontinued and that the china that you have from your mom that came from your great grandmother, is valuable.  If nothing else, an antique dealer may be able to direct you to someone local who handles china.  
  2. See if the local auction dealer will sell your china at an auction.  NOTE:  By going with someone or someplace local, you are saving the problems of packing and shipping.
  3. Drop in at a Consignment Store.  Maybe you don't have antiques but the consignment store may agree to carry your items for a set period of time.  Be aware that most consignment stores drop the asking prices weekly.
  4. Sadly, the only cheap and local market may be a garage sale.  If you are going this route, make sure that you include the china pattern in your advertising.  I have done a couple of garage sales and, to me, the hassle is significant and buyers want everything for free so be ready to negotiate.  
  5. Discontinured china stores.  I found the site for replacement china at  In fact, the photo of my mom's china is from the site (Thank you).  Be ready to have to go on-line to find a shop if there is not one in your area.
  6. E-Selling.    You might be adventurous and try to sell on e-bay, Craigs list or kijiji.  There are companies that will do the selling on e-bay for you including the packing and shipping. One tip is to break down the lot into pieces.   Sometimes asking hundreds of dollars is not as appealing as the price of a setting or plate or cup.  You risk having pieces left over but you may make some money.  The best buyers are going to be those who can drive to your home and haul the china away.  It weighs a ton!
  7. Give it away.  You may find that no one wants to buy your china or that you are not prepared for the work and hassle of trying to sell your china.  In that case, start a list of where you would like your china to go and ask if the person or place will take your china (before you pack it up and take it there).   Start with family and then move on to friends. Lately, when my friends have wanted some of my things, I have asked them to make a donation to one of my favourite charities in lieu of giving me money.  It makes them (and me) feel good.  If no one you know wants the china then look at listing it on the free areas of Craigs List, Free Cycle or Kijiji.  You may want to load it in the car and take it to the Salvation Army, the church (for the church bizarre or for the church's use) or St. Vincent De Paul.    Finally, is all of that is way too much effort, take it to the end of the driveway and put a FREE sign on the box.  It will be gone before you get back to your front door.  At least, in my neighbourhood, that is the fastest and cheapest way to give things away that are still useful.
  8. Be Greek.  Finally, when all else fails, make a Greek meal, invite some friends and at the end, throw the dishes at the brick wall.  

While this post is all about china, the options for some of your other things are almost the same.  Most people do not have a problem letting go of their stuff if they know it is going to 'a good home' or they were compensated for the things.  


Valerie Zinger 

Ottawa, Canada      613-859-7759



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Comment balloon 2 commentsCheryl Ritchie • April 29 2013 08:22PM
Finding new homes for the china. Be Greek and pitch it at the wall.
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